Written By: Mary Lucas 

The current Government shutdown started on Dec. 22 after talks broke down between Congressional leaders and the White House. The officials failed to come to a compromise on a spending deal that President Donald Trump demanded include money for his wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The partial shutdown of the federal government has become the longest in American history. The showdown is over Trump’s demand for funding for his wall at the border with Mexico, and Democrats are balking at additional border security money because they say more than $1 billion allocated in January was not entirely spent.

Because the government was already funded, this is a partial shutdown, but it has affected nine federal departments as well as other agencies, totaling about 800,000 federal workers. This includes the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, State, Transportation, and Treasury. More than half of those have been forced to work without pay throughout the shutdown, with the other half furloughed.

The President and congressional Democrats remain at an impasse as Trump continues to demand more than $5 billion for a border wall and Democrats refuse to agree to that request.

Here is a list of what’s still running during the government shutdown:

  • Social Security & Medicare & Medicaid
  • US Postal Office
  • Veterans Hospitals & Benefits
  • Food Stamps ( at least through February)
  • The Military
  • Border Control
  • The Mueller Investigation
  • Air Traffic Control & TSA
  • The Federal Judiciary
  • Washington, D.C.

Here is a list of what could be affected by a partial shutdown:

  • National Parks: some parks are still open to visitors but have limited staff & closed access to park facilities
  • Museums: closed due to the government shutdown
  • The IRS:  indicated that it plans to furlough a significant fraction of its workers under a contingency plan since tax season has yet to get underway. This could result in delays to this year’s filing season
  • State Department Services: People will still be able to obtain passports and visas, If those services are offered in buildings run by another agency that is shut down, the State Department could curtail issuing them.
  • Environmental & Food Agencies: both agencies could reduce the number of inspections they are conducting on hazardous sites and various food products, respectively.
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